World Passenger Steam Trains – Railroad Anthropology – N-Scale Model


Austrian 310.23 Celebrates 100th Birthday in June 2011

The 100th Birthday of the magnificent Austrian locomotive 310.23, was celebrated in June 2011 all over Austria.

The video is in German, but the language is universal (not to mention the “happy birthday’ song in English).

The video is by TrainTV.

UK Streamlined Steam beauties: slideshow

In 1935, the London and Northeastern Railway of the UK, had Nigel Gresley design streamlined locomotives.  They were fast and recognizable.   The “Mallard” 4468 still holds the world’s speed record for fastest steam in the world.

Of over 30 built in those days, 6 remain today, three of which are fully operational. 

60019  Bittern

60007 Sir Nigel Gresley

60009 Union of South Africa

The famous 60022 Mallard is on static display in Shildon.

The 60010 Dominion of Canada is on static display in the Canadian Railway Museum in Canada.

The 60008 Dwight D. Eisenhower is on display in Wisconsin, USA.


LNER Class A4 Locomotives – wikipedia

LNER (London & Northeastern Railway) Encyclopedia:  Gresley A4 Pacifics




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Austria: Adriatic Elegant Power 310.23 Rebuilt April 2011!

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Karl Gölsdorf  (1861-1916) of Austria, was one of the world’s most foremost designers of the steam locomotive in the early 20th century.  What was considered his masterpiece is the most famous locomotive:  Class 310 which he built in 1911.  It was known for its tremendous speed and power, along with ELEGANCE in aesthetics at its time.  Today, it is still one of the most popular steam locomotives for fans of European steam and history.

Some Videos:

Older Video of 310 glory:

Part 1 and 2 of a segment of the April 2011 Run after rebuild:

C&O 614 Beauty to Return in 2013!!

Fantastic Photo by Robert W. Lyndall at

The Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Greenbrier 4-8-4 Locomotive 614, is slated to return to an east coast US project by 2013, if the plan goes well.  This locomotive is incredibly magnificent and elegant, not to mention powerful!  And it is also amongst my top favorites (I have 30 top favorites that I will not bother ranking!).

 Click to the Great Blog site STEAM CENTRAL.

I’ve posted some older, but great video views of the great C&O here.

1)  C&O 614 at Port Jervis, New York in 1998 for a close look at it.

2)  C&O 614 Great Video by CSX Joe at YouTube (Joe Hacker).

3) AWESOME BEAUTY FROM THE AIR  “Return of the Thoroughbred” by Mark I Video

4) Pacing the 614 – by Typebangin’  at Steam train videos

Poland’s Marvel: Wolsztyn Steam Regulars and Parades

Photo from posterboy2007

Wolsztyn is a town in  Poland.  It is the only place in the world which still runs REGULAR steam-locomotive passenger trains.  Wolsztyn is also known to be the single place with the single most number of working steam locomotives.  There are daily regular steam-pulled passenger trains from Wolsztyn to Leszno and Poznań. It is *not* a heritage park or a museum of trains, but is a regular working line.  However, the shed does include a heritage museum and the annual steam locomotive parade that attracts thousands from around the world.

The Wolsztyn Steam Shed, housing a large number of working locomotives, houses and takes care of the locomotives.

In the 1990s, Howard Jones, an Englishman and steam enthusiast from Buck, England, saved the steam locomotives and station from being shut down by forming a contract with the PKP (Polish National Railways) so that tourists may take turns to be trained, and operate the steam engines from their cab.  Regular tourists, then, could come to actually steer and manage the locomotive, pulling the regular steam trains.  Most of the year, however, local workers maintain and run the trains and the station and yards.

Wolsztyn is a town of 14,000 in  rural west Poland. It is the hub of two rail lines: One runs 29 miles (47 km ) to Leszno, a small city of 60,000. The other runs  59 miles (81 km) to Poznan, a large city of over a million. The Poznan steam trains are pulled by 2-6-2 Prairie-types, and Leszno trains by 2-8-2 Mikados.


The Wolsztyn Experience

Below, one of my favorite steam locomotives, the Pacific locomotive PM36-2 named  “Piekna Helena” or “Beautiful Helena” is featured on the Wolztyn line by  hughrobertwright.

Two Videos feature the Wolstzyn shed by AndrzejMastalerz  and  XxBec3509

Last:  2010 year glimpse of the annual parade by  IneedU1971

Remember Richard Steinheimer 1929-2011

Richard Steinheimer, famous railroad photographer of the USA, especially of Western US Railroads, passed away on May 4, 2011 in Sacramento, California after a long illness.

Let us remember his life, dedication, artistic vision, love of railroad–his heritage.

INFORMATION:  overview:

Track Foreman's Watch, Escalon, California 1962

LAST TRAIN HOME – music video by 4101950

This is one of my favorite YouTube videos edited and mixed by 4101950 on Youtube.

US Jazz music artist Pat Metheny’s piece: “Last Train Home” is put to a great montage of some of the world’s most beautiful steam locomotives, most of them still in operation today.


Santa Fe (ATSF) 3751 locomotive in April 2011 – by SDrailfan

Photo by Ken Szok

One of the beautiful big 4-8-4 steam locomotives operating in the USA today, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe (ATSF, or ‘Santa Fe’ in nickname), takes frequent excursions throughout the year, especially in the Southern California area.

This trip was earlier in April of this year (2011).  This great video is from kearthfan101.

For those of you who aren’t too familiar with steam engines except in art and photographs, you can get an idea of the size and power of these locomotives.  We can also keep in mind that these locomotives have speed limits these days and for insurance purposes.  Mechanical issues (since modern rail mechanics no longer serve steam) are circumvented by adding the diesel locomotives in case there are problems.  But the diesel locomotives DO NOT HELP in pulling the train!  It’s all steam baby!!

This great Video is by SD railfan!

New York Central RR: 20th Century Limited – Hudsons

This is one of the most famous express passenger trains that ran in the United States.  In its various stages, it was pulled by many of the most famous steam locomotives such as the Hudson, the Niagara, and the streamlined Hudsons.

Here are vintage clips, where you can see these locomotives hauling at full speeds of between 80 to 100 miles per hour, unlike these days, where insurance and track mechanics, as well as wanting photographers to get good photos, have kept speeds of excursion steam between 20 and 70 miles per hour at best.  The best and strongest steam were most often running between 60 to over 100 miles per hour (160.93 km/h).

Below are PoathTV’s commentary (from YouTube) on the 20th Century Limited:

The 20th Century Limited was an express passenger train operated by the New York Central Railroad from 1902 to 1967. The train travelled between Grand Central Terminal in New York City and LaSalle Street Station in Chicago, Illinois along the railroad’s famed “Water Level Route”. The NYC inaugurated this train as direct competition to the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Broadway Limited, both lines intended for upper class as well as business travellers between the two cities. Making few station stops along the way and utilizing track pans along the route to take water at speed, the train completed the 960.7 miles (1,546 km) journey in 16 hours, departing New York City westbound at 6:00 P.M. Eastern Time and arriving at Chicago’s LaSalle St. Station the following morning at 9:00 A.M. Central Time., averaging 60 miles per hour (97 km/h).

This collection of clips shows The 20th Century Limited in it’s heyday being hauled by classic NYC streamlined steam locomotives including the famous Hudsons.

The clip below is from the Great Vintage Video company: HERRON Rail, from their video entitled: Trains at Speed.

French Railways – The Glorious 241.A.65

The SCNF beautiful and elegant 241.A.65 is one of my all-time favorites, along with Germany’s 010 series locomotives, the USA’s NYC Niagaras and Hudsons, the C&O614, and UP844, Japan’s C62,  Spain’s 4-8-4s, the UK’s ‘The Duke,’ Russia’s Pm36 and the Czech Republic’s ‘Albatross.’

The 241 and 242 series locomotives were among the later steam engines to be built for France’s Railways and were among the largest in Europe.

In the videos below, we can capture some recent glimpses of the magnificent artistry and power of this locomotive.

Coupled with the beautiful and famous 241.P.17 on May 2009 in Koblenz.

Riding on the doubleheader!

A wonderful portrait of the 241A standing in display.

Rapperswill tour in 2009.

China’s Last Steam

China’s steam locomotives are among the most photographed in the world.  People come from the world over to film their steam because of some spectacular vistas that showcase some of the beautiful and immense, and diverse landscape that is China combined with the best of what steam has to offer, showing its power, grit and beauty in spectacular fashion.

The region/rail line that became, perhaps, the most photographed steam rail line in the world for a decade, was the Jingpeng Pass along the JiTong Line in Mongolia.

There are remaining coal and other mineral industry steam still operating in China.  Much of of it would’ve disappeared but due to the recent interest of Europeans, Japanese and American interest in China steam, some of the lines have remained.

I will be posting more as time goes.  Here are a few videos to start.  has some of the best professionally done video essays and documentaries on world steam, including those of China, North Korea, and others.

Unfortunately– seems to have gone out of business.  But there are many videos of Chinese steam.

Here are others to introduce you to Chinese steam in the 20th and 21st century —

UK Steam Train Breaks Speed Record: Still Unbeaten Today

On July 3rd, 1938, in Great Britain, the A-4 class locomotive “Mallard” broke the world train speed record for steam, at 125mph.   It was in the family of other elegant ‘streamlined’ locomotives that were popular for a short period around the world, then losing favor to the more ‘traditional’ design of the steam locomotive with boilers and other parts in plain view, giving them the grittier feel.

Before that record, the Empire State Express in New York, with the Locomotive #999, still proudly and beatufiully standing in the Museum in New York, was the first engine in the world to break the 100mph barrier, so it is said.

The Niagara locomotive, of the famous New York Central Railroad, was the most powerful, efficient, and fast locomotive in the late 1950s, before all were completely destroyed.  In Time trials with the up-and-coming Diesel locomotives, the Niagara class locomotive was equal.  It made the diesel engine promoters quite uncomfortable.  But alas, they were working with the oil companies and the demise of steam was certain.  Not one glorious ‘Niagara’ class locomotive is alive today.   However, its earlier cousin, the ‘Mohawk’ locomotive, as of this day, is being talked about as being revived for later excursion trains.


Spain photo: Magnificent 242F 2009 in 1968 – by Brian Stephenson

The most powerful steam locomotive on passenger express service in the heyday of Spanish steam, was the 242F, 2000 series.  Their wheel arrangement: 4-8-4, was unusual in Europe, while it was more numerous in the Americas.  There were only a few 4-8-4s built for the Spanish rails as by then, the world was already turning into a diesel-powered train system.

This photo was taken by the prolific Brian Stephenson from  It is of the 242F 2009 pulling the La Coruna Express in May 1968.  Soonafafter these pictures, most of the magnificent 242F locos were moved to the Miranda de Ebro lines for their last trips.

Photo: 241F of Spain: superpower in may 1968 by Brian Stephenson

In May 1968, one of the super power locomotives in Spain were the Norte (northern 4-8-2)  type 241 F class engines : 241F 4067.  This one, running on one of its last trips on the Miranda de Ebro line.

Photo by Brian Stephenson of one of the best and most prolific of amateur photographer railfans in Europe.  Please see more of his photographs of steam and other types of locomotives on

Ja1271: One of New Zealand’s pride Locomotives – Jazz Train

The annual JAZZ train, roundtrip special train from Auckland to Hamilton, is a heaven for steam fans.  New Zealand, next to Japan, the UK and Germany, are amongst the most enthusiastic and numerous railfan nations of the world.  The Jazz Train is an excursion that carries passengers to an from an annual jazz music festival.  The beautiful locomotive # Ja  1271 is the motive power.  It is truly one of the most beautiful steam engines of the world that presently make trips.

Chilean Steam: beautiful Araucania trenes vapor

The beautiful steam locomotive #820 of Chile.  It is owned by the railway museum in city of Araucania, Chile.

The following video is from a special excursion of the train, pulled by #820 in September of 2008.

Awesome German Variety Video & Swedish B1289 by ejovadi

Ejovadi , is one of my favorite Steam videographers of Europe on YouTube.  He is one of the few who offer great ‘Pacing’ videos, along with SkipW of the USA.  Pacing is the english language rail terminology for when a photographer follows a steam train alongside the train as it runs, going at the same speed.   His videos are mainly of European trains in the Germany, Netherlands area.

Here, from a November 2010 steam fest, he captures the wonderful variety of German and German-Dutch steam trains, both passenger and freight.

Below the first one, you’ll find more great ‘pacing’ videos.

The 2nd video is of a Christmas Special of Swedish locomotive B1289 running in the Netherlands December 2009.


C62: Japan’s Most Famous & Largest Express Steam Locomotive

Japan’s steam locomotive designs originally began with the first imports from Great Britain.  Later, it became familiar with Dutch designs but were not known for nothing other than imitations of the Pacific and Mikado locomotives, and others.

The C62 became Japan’s most internationally famous for its Hudson design, but with a few original design techniques, as well as its amalgam of Dutch, British, American and Japanese sensibilities.  Today, one C62 remains in operation in short runs in a part.  It ran longer excursions into the early 2000 but was retired.  Japan, however, prides itself in its history and the locomotives as a part of it and will most likely run the C62 at a later time, for longer excursions.  The D51, the C57, C58, and C11 locomotives, other of the most famous and representative of Japanese steam locomotive designs, are still running in many excursions and specials year-round.  Stations are usually packed by fans and photographers.  The Japanese public, in general, are lovers of the steam locomotive, as part of their past.

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More Southern Pacific 4449: video by Skip Weythman

More SP4449!

Here is more video of the beautiful SP4449.  SkipW at YouTube is one of my favorite videographers of Steam locomotives and steam trains in the United States.  He is known to take beautiful High Definition videos of Pacing scenes.  Pacing, for those of you who are not rail fans, is when the photographer rides beside the steam locomotive as they are running parallel in photographing/videoing.  For me, it is almost the quintessential element of an all-round ‘good’ and ‘exciting’ video or film, when some kind of pacing scene is involved.  So many videographers just show endless run-by scenes, it is monotonous and somewhat too detached.  When pacing scenes are included in at least a part of the video, I particularly feel that the viewer can get more of the feel of the locomotive– its energy, strength, speed and motion– its spirit.  Thank you Skip for your great Pacing scenes!

This video is from July 31, 2009 when the Southern Pacific ‘Daylight’ ran through the Rocky Mountains in the Western United States.

Southern Pacific 4449 “Daylight” – beautiful streamliner

Photo courtesy of Chicago Super Chief at

The streamlined steam locomotive was a short fad for steam engine designs in the World War II and postwar period in most western and northern European countries, the United States and Australia/New Zealand.  It quickly came into disfavor, succumbing to both fans of steam who thought that steamlining ruined the basic aesthetic of steam locomotives, as well as mechanics who complained of more difficulty in reaching certain areas of the body to fix and maintain these engines.  However, certain streamlined locomotives were ‘eternal’ in the steam history of nations.  In the UK, Germany and France, certain streamliners were revered and kept in museums, while a few are running today in excursion runs.

In the United States, there are two streamlined steam engines and preserved: the Norfolk and Western Class J #611 and the Southern Pacific ‘Daylight’ #4449.  Sadly, the NW 611 was built in 1950 and ran excursions through the 1990s.  It  is no longer running but preserved in fine condition at the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

Arguably, considered the ‘most beautiful steam locomotive in the world’ is the famous “Daylight” locomotive of the GS-4 class: the Southern Pacific #4449.  It was built in May 1941 and is still running today in special and excursion services. They are maintained by the Friends of 4449 .

The video is courtesy of ‘YardGoat‘ on Youtube.

Richard Steinheimer’s ‘Night Stop’

Richard Steinheimer (1929-) is considered one of the world’s greatest railroad photographers from the United States.  Railroad photographers, artists, and videographers are the main people who have allowed our memories to be kept alive, and to be remembered through generations, of steam locomotives, steam trains and the reminiscing of the days when steam-driven trains were the major form of transportation on land.

He started his photographic career in 1945, when one of the most illustrious and powerful railroad companies–the Southern Pacific Railroad, ran their trains past his home.  In 2004, he was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease and in 2007, suffered a stroke.  His photography will remain in our heart/minds to remind us of the glory of American steam.

Southern Pacific 4194 at Night, Glendale Station, California 1950

For further reading on Richard Steinheimer:

Two Videos: ITALY’s Elegant 685-196 in action

Photo:  685.089 in 1975.   Courtesy of Alessandro Morandi.

First is a nice clip from a Black-n-White Documentary on Italy’s fast and elegant 685-196, still preserved today.

Courtesy of Ferruggia53


Second clip is a trailer for a beautiful DVD on the Double-header in 2009 of #685.096 and 685.089 by TuttoTreno TV.


Magnificent Danish Locomotive E 991

Italy’s Beautiful 685 class 196 express steam locomotive


When world steam enthusiasts think of steam locomotives, they don’t usually think of Southern European steam.  It is a pity.  If one is familiar with Italian architecture and inventions through history, then one needs to equate Italy’s contributions to the world.  The 685 class of express steam locomotives of Italy are amongst the elegant and nicely designed steam engines of the 20th century.  For its size, it was capable of great speeds and power.  This image represents one of the two 685 locomotives preserved today for railfans to see and ride behind in Southern Europe.


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